Dedicated Pain Cave PC

I now have the dedicated space and the dedicated bike, I’d like a dedicated PC to run TrainerRoad…and one of those other popular apps that might be a little more graphics heavy.

Yes, I know I can build something cheap.
Yes, I know it’s easy.
Yes, I know TR isn’t a resource hog and just about anything will work.
Yes, I know it really doesn’t matter.
Yes, I know I can buy used.

Now that we have all of THAT our of the way, has anyone purchased a PC, not a Mac…have one…hate it…RECENTLY to use just in your pain cave? Extra credit given for a link where I can buy online.

I’m being lazy here folks. I just want to buy something that will work right out of the box and I’m completely in paralysis by analysis mode right now. I can’t make a decision so I’d love to just copy someone else’s set up! :smiley:


I don’t have the link right now, but I did. I bought a small, minimun PC off Amazon. Lasted in the garage 2 years. Died. I put my older desktop in the garage and it seems to keep going.

Where are you located? That will help get you suggestions.


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Checkout Intel NUC PCs. They are nice a small and should be able to handle both TR and Zwift.

I run Zwift on a ~ 10yo recycled HTPC. Runs @ 1080p without issue.

You can buy them at Amazon. Plenty of options for under $500. Like this one.


For something a little more graphics heavy I assume you mean Zwift? Or RGT? A budget gaming PC will serve your purpose well.

the dedicated PC I use is the Alienware Alpha. It’s a few years old at this point, but it runs Zwift and TrainerRoad simultaneously at the highest levels. And it’s got a small form factor. I think you can get them refurbished for <$300. It’s about the footprint of an Ipad, but about 2 inches thick.

I had a 400 ft^2 appartment back in college, and my gaming PC would heat the entire place. On graphic intense games it was almost like a hair dryer. PCs are more efficient now, but the idea of a big heat source near my trainer doesn’t sound optimal.

I’d go with something small that isn’t power hungry. Zwift really doesn’t take much to run.

Do the NUCs come ready to go out of the box? I always thought you had to add a hard drive and operating system.

I use an ipad now. No group workouts or live FTP on ramp test with ipad.

TR is working on this.
Soon-ish there will be some kind of group wo outside of PC.

Most NUCs doesnt have HD.

have you try ?
they sell used computers. And some are very small.

The one I linked comes with 120GB SSD and Win 10 Pro.

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Does TR work on Chromebooks? If so, does group workouts also work?

An alternative to a PC - I run Zwift on an Apple TV and TR on my phone (separately, not together). The Apple TV doubles as my entertainment streaming device. I originally went to this “temporary” setup with the long term plan of going to a dedicated PC to run Zwift but then never saw the need as the Apple TV works well. I never bothered to ever plug in my laptop again either which is how I had run TR for years.

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I’v decided to do the Zwift thing, so I’m getting a low end gaming PC. Dell, around $1,000 from Amazon. It will be here on Sunday. Would have been a little cheaper top buy directly from Dell, but I’m not good at waiting.

I expect this setup to give me ultra detail at 4k with high fps even when there are lots of people around.

My current laptop runs Z fine at 1080, but the graphics are far more interesting when I run it on my desktop in 4k. One of the things that gets a little buried in the discussion of Z graphics is that you can pick the resolution (1080, 4k, whateve), but Z decides your level of detail based on the available graphics card. There are some ways to tinker with the lower end detail decisions, but if you want to run ultra (and NOT everyone does or cares), you have to have a setup that Z likes.

Yes, there are many cheaper ways to do this. By all accounts, Apple TV is great for 1080.


Both Apple TV and most phones use Bluetooth, so how do you connect both to your smart trainer? Thanks!

Surprisingly, that is on sale from Dell Canada for only $1100 so not too far off your USD price (it’s on sale for $500 off), hmm… :thinking:

I don’t run both at the same time so its not an issue for me. Its one or the other and it works fine if you don’t try and run both at the same time - the trainer just pairs with whatever app is open.

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Ah, I see, just assumed you were running both at the same time. Okay then! Ride on :wink:

Never mind…I didn’t read the replies before.

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I second the suggestion of the Intel NUC, which is a great small-form-factor PC.

Places will sell you prebuilts. “Prebuilt” here means “we plugged in an M.2 SSD and installed Windows 10 on it”.